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SI Pac-12 Football Power Rankings: Cal Climbs Two Spots to No. 8

Golden Bears' 49-31 win over Arizona gives them a season-best spot in our poll.

Cal’s victory over Arizona has vaulted the Golden Bears two spots to a season-high No. 8 in our SI Pac-12 Football Power Rankings.

Cal had gone back and forth at ninth and 10th through the first four weeks of ranking, compiled through votes from seven sites who cover Pac-12 schools for the SI network.

But a 49-31 win over the Wildcats, including a 28-7 second-half surge, vaulted Cal to eighth.

The Bears play Saturday at Washington State, which dropped one spot to No. 7 after its 44-41 loss to Oregon last week.

The top five spots in our rankings remain unchanged, except that Washington moved into a tie for second with Utah. A week ago, the Huskies trailed the Utes by a single vote. They’re all even now.

USC is No. 1 for the fourth straight week, securing five of seven first-place votes. Utah and Washington each was voted No. 1 by one panelist.

WEEK 5 - SI PAC-12 FOOTBALL POWER RANKINGS

1. USC 4-0 . . . (5) 82 points

2 tie. Utah 3-1 . . . (1) 74

2 tie. Washington 4-0 . . . (1) 74

4. Oregon 3-1 . . . 59

5. Oregon State 3-1. . . 53

6. UCLA 4-0 . . . 51

7. Washington State 3-1 . . . 46

8. Cal 3-1 . . . 37

9. Arizona 2-2 . . . 26

10. Stanford 1-2 . . . 23

11. Arizona State 1-3 . . . 14

12. Colorado 0-4 . . . 7

-- JAKE CURTIS, CAL SPORTS REPORT

1. Washington; 2. USC; 3. UCLA; 4. Utah; 5. Oregon; 6. Oregon State; 7. Washington State; 8. Cal; 9. Arizona; 10. Stanford; 11. Arizona State; 12. Colorado

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Comments: UCLA’s soft schedule comes to screeching halt the next two weeks when it faces Washington and Utah. Then will see whether the Bruins belong in the upper echelon of the conference. ASU and Colorado are battling to join the nation's Bottom 10.

-- MAX TORRES, DUCKS DIGEST

1. USC; 2. Utah; 3. Washington; 4. Oregon; 5. Washington State; 6. Oregon State; 7. UCLA; 8. Cal; 9. Stanford; 10. Arizona; 11. Arizona State; 12. Colorado

Comment: Oregon won a game that was almost too close for comfort in the Palouse. Nix's pick-six was erased by an amazing comeback that previous Oregon teams haven't been capable of. A late matchup against Stanford shouldn't be overlooked, but the Ducks keep stepping up when it matters most and should feel confident heading into that game.

-- KEVIN BORBA, ALL CARDINAL

1. USC; 2. Utah; 3. Washington; 4. Oregon; 5. Oregon State; 6. Washington State; 7. UCLA; 8. Cal; 9. Arizona; 10. Stanford; 11. Arizona State; 12. Colorado

Comment: Despite having an extra week to prepare, Stanford came out flat against Washington. It's hard to win when you get sacked 8 times and give the ball away three times. Traveling to Oregon will be no easy task, especially since it looks like they are figuring things out in Eugene.

-- SAM CONNON, ALL BRUINS

1. USC; 2. Utah; 3. Washington; 4. Oregon; 5. UCLA; 6. Oregon State; 7. Washington State; 8. Cal; 9. Arizona; 10. Stanford; 11. Arizona State; 12. Colorado

Comment: All the favorites won this weekend, leaving my ballot largely unchanged. USC's road win over Oregon State was ugly but impressive, as was Oregon's at Washington State. Those two outside challengers losing keeps UCLA in the top half of the conference for the time being, but that will be tested as they take on Washington, Utah and Oregon these next few weeks.

-- WYATT ALLSUP, USC

1. USC; 2. Washington; 3. Utah; 4. Oregon State; 5. Oregon; 6. Washington State; 7. UCLA; 8. Cal; 9. Arizona; 10. Stanford; 11. Arizona State; 12. Colorado

Comment: USC escapes with a narrow win over Oregon State, which gave a statement performance. Oregon doesn’t travel to Corvallis until the final week of the season, but if the two played right now, I think the Beavers look better. Not much movement in the bottom half of my rankings, but UCLA deserves some credit for starting 4-0. The Bruins haven’t really played anyone, but they can only beat who they play. Tough stretch coming up for them the next three weeks.

-- COLE BAGLEY, ALL UTES

1. Utah; 2. USC; 3. Washington; 4. Oregon State; 5. Oregon; 6. Washington State; 7. UCLA; 8. Cal; 9. Arizona; 10. Stanford; 11. Arizona State; 12. Colorado

Comment: While Utah is gaining momentum, USC and Oregon barely escaped this past week with wins. The next two weeks will be very telling and could cement the top 3-4 teams for the rest of the season.

-- DAN RALEY, INSIDE THE HUSKIES

1. USC; 2. Washington; 3. Utah; 4. UCLA; 5. Oregon; 6. Cal; 7. Oregon State; 8. Washington State; 9. Stanford; 10. Arizona; 11. Arizona State; 12. Colorado

Comment: The Huskies aren't unbeatable, but they're unstoppable on offense. They're averaging 44 points and 530 yards per game. They've scored on their first drive of every game so far. If UCLA is going to beat these guys on Friday night, they'll need to attack the secondary, which has replaced three of the five starters because of injury. This is a team that hasn't faced any adversity yet.

Cover photo of Cal quarterback Jack Plummer by Darren Yamashita, USA Today

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo